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I'm very honored and excited to be Moderator of this forum! I hope that every member will feel comfortable talking about anything that would be considered appropriate in working with or providing virtual services to attorneys, law firms, legal organizations/institutions, private investigators, insurance companies and the like.

 

Let me start with, I am an EthicsChecked Master Virtual Assistant with over five years of practical experience working virtually with firms of various sizes. Along with one on one cyber-secretarial services offered to sole practitioners which I began offering through my site www.legaltypist.com, through a network of qualified LegalTypist Digital Assistants and www.lawfirmsolutions.com, I also partner with multiple attorney firms to upgrade their antiquated tape based dictation processes to digital; get their attorneys "remote" and provide cost effective off site initial drafts, after hours and/or overflow transcription services. In addition to my virtual experience, for over 15 years I have been (and am actually still 'on call') as an "executive" legal assistant working for Equity Partner level attorney-litigators on Long Island and in New York City.

 

OK. So now you know a bit about me. Let's hear about you! Please post your comments, questions or concerns and lets get this ball a rolling!

 

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Hi Andrea,

 

So glad you are hanging out with us and hope to learn lots from you. I actually was a legal secretary for most of my corporate world days working in offices graduating with my Legal Secretarial Diploma back in 83...gawd that is so long ago now :blink: I mainly worked for real estate lawyers and corporate lawyers. I didn't do much matrimonial law at all but loved doing the overflow since it was always so much more interesting than filling incorporations and setting up trademarks LOL! I ended up quitting as a legal secretary after about 10 years of it since lawyers are friggin cheap and never pay you what you are worth. I then went to a government job after that.

 

Anyhow, that is my brief legal background and although I loved it, I never got back into it and went the internet marketing niche route ;)

 


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Hi Andrea!

 

It's great to have you looking after us in this area of your expertise :) . I am so not into legal-ease. Now I know where I can go to for these types of questions.

 

Thank you - Patty


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Hi Andrea… it’s nice to meet you!

 

I have been a legal assistant (and office manager) for over 20 years working for solo practitioners and/or small law firms and have experience in many different areas of law. During that time, even though I had a full-time job, I was always picking up small projects to do at home for other local attorneys…

 

For the last 5 years I have been working steady as an independent contractor for an attorney and through word of mouth, I have also done work for other attorneys along the way… I have always loved working in the legal field and doing what I love from home and having my own business is even better!

 

My niche is definitely to cater to solo practitioners, but if and when I am ready to go public with my business, it will probably be geared more towards local attorneys, rather than virtual… but who knows.

 

I am thrilled that I found my way back to this forum because there is so much information available for when/if I am ready to take that next business step…

 

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Hi Andrea,

I would love to get back into the legal field. What I mean is, I received my Associate of Science Degree in Legal Assistant Studies back in 1987, but I've actually never worked in the field. I was 5 months pregnant with my first child when I graduated. I live in a very small town in Louisiana and at that time, the attorneys around here didn't know what to do with a Paralegal. I actually went to work for a newspaper, but I would like to do legal typing.

 

Jeannine

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Hi Andrea. Glad to have you here as moderator.

 

I was a legal assistant for over 7 years, with one year as the office manager in a medium sized law firm before I left in April to start my VA business. The firm I worked for held the indigent contract for the county so we did a lot of criminal work as well as some divorce, probate and bankruptcy work. I truly enjoy the camraderie and relationship that legal assistants have with the attorneys they work with and I really love the work that I do!

 

Denise

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Guest becky

Hello everyone. I am a certified paralegal. I have just cut back on my hours with the idea of possibly starting a VA business on the side. I also do some of my work remotely - we have a server that I can log onto from home. I'm glad to see there is a Forum for Paralegal VA's.

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Guest

Hi Andrea… it’s nice to meet you!

 

I have been a legal assistant (and office manager) for over 20 years working for solo practitioners and/or small law firms and have experience in many different areas of law. During that time, even though I had a full-time job, I was always picking up small projects to do at home for other local attorneys…

 

For the last 5 years I have been working steady as an independent contractor for an attorney and through word of mouth, I have also done work for other attorneys along the way… I have always loved working in the legal field and doing what I love from home and having my own business is even better!

 

My niche is definitely to cater to solo practitioners, but if and when I am ready to go public with my business, it will probably be geared more towards local attorneys, rather than virtual… but who knows.

 

I am thrilled that I found my way back to this forum because there is so much information available for when/if I am ready to take that next business step…

 

 

Kathleen:

 

It is nice to meet you. I like the name too! ;)

 

 

 

Hi Andrea. Glad to have you here as moderator.

 

I was a legal assistant for over 7 years, with one year as the office manager in a medium sized law firm before I left in April to start my VA business. The firm I worked for held the indigent contract for the county so we did a lot of criminal work as well as some divorce, probate and bankruptcy work. I truly enjoy the camraderie and relationship that legal assistants have with the attorneys they work with and I really love the work that I do!

 

Denise

 

 

Hey Denise:

 

Thanks for the welcome. It's nice to know you enjoyed doing the work "in house" as a legal assistant. So many I speak with today are finding it a challenge - long hours, little appreciation, etc. - I actually miss the day to day interactions with fellow support staff more than with attorneys!

 

 

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How great that there is a place for this! Congrats on being the moderator for the board! :thumbup:

 

I graduated in 1993 with an AAS Degree in Legal Administrative, but only was involved with it for about 1 1/2 after college. I strayed from it, but wonder now where I'd be if I kept with it!

 

I have thought to incorporate attorney work into my business, but haven't really done it. I did work with one who was into immigration, but it was A LOT of learning and I really needed to be able to take the time to dedicate in order to fly through it with colors, but wasn't to at the time.

 

The actual job I was involved with out of college dealt with collections. I did a lot of transcription, but not sure if I'd remember a lot of the lingo since it's been so long. I would like to maybe offer some simple services in the future to attorneys to get my feet wet again without jumping in too soon.

 

Ideas are always welcome on this forum. I think there are many VAs who may consider helping out attorneys, but think that they don't have the skills necessary. This may be a good place to show them how they can advance and spread their wings - even with attorneys! :)

 

:)

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Hello everyone, I'm also very glad to see this particular forum. I'm currently a legal assistant for 4 employment/litigation attorneys and one paralegal. Previously I worked for a personal injury litigator and in child support enforcement with the government before that. So I've spent a lot of years in the legal field and hope to transition into a VA business of my own soon doing legal, general administrative and some technical work. I'm excited about the concept of virtual assistants who can finally put to use their 'Jane of All Trades' experience.

 

Pam

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Congratulations on being the Moderator Andrea.

 

I was a Legal Secretary while working my VA business part time. Since taking the jump and going full time, i have still been able to keep my hand in and work for Solicitors from my previous employment and a few others in the area.

 

 

Lyndsey


Lyndsey McKendry

Diamond Secretarial

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Guest codadiva

Hello all,

I have a Bachelor's in Paralegal and graduated in 1994 (yikes). I have worked with personal injury, litigation, divorce, bankruptcy and corporate (FORD MOTOR COMPANY). My last job as a paralegal was in 1998. Although I haven't been labeled a paralegal in a while, I feel the training I have had is invaluable. You can take the paralegal outta the law firm, but you can't take the paralegal outta the girl.

 

I'd be curious if any of you are doing writing. Are you still writing briefs, memos, or do you just do more research. I may market to this niche, but feel a bit nervous, since I haven't been in the field for a while.

 

Lisa

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Guest
I'm very honored and excited to be Moderator of this forum! I hope that every member will feel comfortable talking about anything that would be considered appropriate in working with or providing virtual services to attorneys, law firms, legal organizations/institutions, private investigators, insurance companies and the like.

 

Congratulations Andrea! I know we will all benefit from your wealth of experience. I graduated from a legal secretarial program after high school and have off and on regretted not actually putting what I learned to work. I ended up taking a non-legal secretarial job with a government agency.

 

It's great to know that this forum exists because it's a field I would like to explore again.

 

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Hello, everyone, I'm a newbie and excited to be here. I've been a legal secretary (and all that goes with it) for 30 years, first in Texas and now in Virginia. I have worked in real estate law, oil & gas law, divorce law, medical malpractice defense, insurance defense law, workers' compensation, estate planning and wills, in addition to billing, bookkeeping, and paralegal work. I'm 49 and have a 7 year old going on 17 and I'm ready to pull myself out of the law firm setting and start working at home. Any and all guidance and mentoring is more than welcome. I'm treading water right now, hopefully I'll be swimming right along soon. If anyone has any pearls of wisdom to help me on my way, you can e-mail me at work, hee, hee - scormany@jamlaw.net, or at home - don't laugh - it was my mother's name - DaisyMozella@comcast.net. Thanks in advance to any kind souls who can lead me down the right path. Have a great day, everyone!

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Guest

"you can e-mail me at work, hee, hee - scormany@jamlaw.net, or at home - don't laugh - it was my mother's name - DaisyMozella@comcast.net."

 

Thanks everyone for the very warm welcome. I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to forums, so please excuse me while I get up to speed. I was going through the posts this weekend and wanted to comment on the item quoted above.

 

Anyone considering going into their own practice should only be using a private e-mail address (for branding, preferably your own domain (as in you@yourdomain.com)) and NEVER an employer's e-mail. Any employer can review any e-mail that is routed through their domain or assigned to any employee, and the e-mail technically belongs to the firm. Therefore, only use your own private e-mail addy for your VA practice communications.

 

Now, there are ways to connect to your e-mail from your employer's equipment, however, I recommend unless you have an agreement up front with the attorney/firm you work for that you can check personal e-mail on your employer's time, that you refrain from doing so.

 

For those working full/part time while building their practice, not checking e-mail can be a bit of a hardship - however, there are so many ways to configure technology to keep you in the loop without connecting to e-mail. Off the top of my head, for instance, a unified messaging account can be configured to send a notification to your cell phone (so you know an e-mail or fax or voicemail has been received). I use Onebox (www.onebox.com) and it not only provides such notifications, but allows you to call into your account and play back messages, and even read your faxes to you over the phone. In any event, since a VA really should not be doing anything on their employer's electronic equipment, it's really about being notified that a project or client needs something. That's why I love unified messaging so much (I've used the same company for my practice for over six years now!) Truly, a great, inexpensive way to control incoming communications. :)

 

Again, thank you all for the warm welcome!

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